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The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 9:00 a.m. this 8th day of May, 2012, by Mayor Giese in the Auditorium of the Morris Area High School.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

ROLL CALL:  Roll call was taken with the following members present:  Council member Carrington, Miller and Mayor Giese.  Council members Webster and Storck were absent.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Krosschell, Police Chief Beauregard Engineer/Surveyor/Inspector Fier and City Attorney Jordan. 

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  Police Chief Beauregard informed the council that all of the civil defense sirens are currently working.  The city is in the third year a five year transition to have all new sirens.  The sirens are tested the first Wednesday of every month at 1:00 p.m.


READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  4/24/12 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Carrington, to approve the 4/24/12 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

4/24/12 Condensed Version Minutes:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the 4/24/12 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

CONSENT AGENDA:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the consent agenda which included the following items:

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      April Transit Report

         C.      Dance Permit

         D.      Application for Exempt Permit – Assumption Church

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSGambling Report from American Legion:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Carrington, to accept the gambling report from the American Legion.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the Legion, motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Accepting a Bid for the 2012 MSA & Local Street Improvements:  Hill explained this resolution is for road improvements, which consist of milling and overlays and concrete handicap walkway issues on the corners of the state aid roads.  The estimate for the project was $392,000.  The city received two bids with the low bid coming from Riley Brothers Construction for $356,100.  Central Specialties of Alexandria submitted the other bid for $391,159.  Hill noted the city budgeted $310,000 for the project but state aid will pay for a portion of it. 

Council member Carrington moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3079-5-12, Resolution Accepting a Bid and Awarding a Contract for the 2012 Road Improvement Project.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

First Reading of Ordinance No. 91, An Ordinance Granting a Franchise to Centerpoint Energy:  Hill stated this is a renewal of a franchise that's already been granted.  Since the last agreement the company name has changed to Centerpoint Energy.  Hill indicated everything looks fine with the updated ordinance and the franchise agreement would run for 20 years. 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to accept this as the first reading of Ordinance No. 91, An Ordinance Granting Centerpoint Energy a Franchise, and set the second reading and public hearing for 5:15 p.m. on May 22, 2012.  Motion carried.  

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Report:  Hill pointed out the Morris Fire Department was featured on the cover of Fire Chief's magazine.  The picture on the cover was taken at a roll over accident near Donnelly. 

Hill stated he received a letter of resignation from the cityís esteemed finance director Gene Krosschell.  Krosschell has worked for the city for 28 years and will be retiring the end of July.  Hill indicated the city wishes him well but will miss him a lot.

With regard to the legislature, the tax bill was vetoed which had included a fix for LGA.  It will hopefully be fixed before the end of the session, otherwise the city will loose about $58,000 in LGA funding for next year.   

Hill indicated he has found a company that provides hardware and software for the access channel.  Hill stated he would be talking to the SCEIC about some possible funding to try and pursue a better system. 

With regard to the Pacific Avenue project, Kuechle is not coming into town until June 10th.

NEW BUSINESS:  Peg Rinkenberger asked the council if they regretted the city purchasing the old elementary school because it's become such a problem. 

Mayor Giese stated he personally doesnít regret that the city did it.  The city knew from the start that it was a long term project.  One of the reasons the city decided to take it over was so that they could keep control of the property.  Giese indicated hopefully it will be some kind of housing development in the future. 

Council member Miller stated he sat in on the committee that worked on the school reuse project.  Miller pointed out there is 17 acres there so it's not just where the school sits.  The reuse committee looked at many different uses but it just hasn't worked out.  Miller stated he believes 20 years from now it will be a beautiful neighborhood.  Miller indicated the last five years have been financially tough for everyone in the state but his goal is to get some money in the budget to do something with the building next year.  

Council member Carrington stated he would like to see an outdoor pool on the property.   

Rinkenberger asked what the value of the school was and if it was $1 million to take the school down?  Hill explained the land was appraised for around $350,000.  Hill stated he has talked to four developers over the last few months that are interested in the property.  Hill believes five years from now the school will be gone and there will be development on it. 

Rinkenberger asked if there were many police calls to the building.   Beauregard stated the building creates a lot of calls and suggested the kids look up the broken windows theory.  Beauregard explained once there is graffiti at the site, this sends a message that itís ok and sucks in other types of crime.  Beauregard stated the interior of the building is so dangerous that they canít send people in there. 

Jim Greenwaldt asked about the group of individuals that worked to get the building on the National Register and what they thought about the situation.  Hill noted that the group was very active but concluded that the school couldn't stay.  There was a study done which created a green neighborhood, but in order to develop something you have to have money.  Normally, cities are not the developers of property.


INFORMATIONAL ITEMSDILLY of a Day Information:   This was informational for the council.  

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 9:54 a.m.

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